Trying to win some Respect
By Kwaku A. Danso
Anytime a black person is disrespected or maltreated for the color of his or her skin, many innocent people hurt. After all none of us chose the color of our skins or race. The recent court acquittal of a white person, George Zimmerman, who shot a black youth, Trayvon Martin, on Feb.26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida, USA in an encounter, as well as other cases like the police shooting case of Oscar Grant in Oakland California (January 1, 2009), or the Rodney King police brutality incidence in Los Angeles on March 3, 1991, simply makes one wonder about life as a black person!
A report of the first black Minister in Italy, in the Daily Telegraph, which read: Outrage as bananas thrown at Italy's first black minister.
The report said that Italy had seen “an outpouring of disgust after a spectator at a party rally threw bananas at the country's first black minister, who has suffered an onslaught of racist slurs since taking office in April”. We wrote an editorial for our online magazine, www.globalexpressghana.com and reproduce it here to share:
EDITORIAL: Life is War! - says an African proverb. This story from Italy is only an example of the pain blacks all over the world including the USA go through, even a century after slavery ended. By this time, it has become obvious to most that by the historical encounter of Europeans with Africans and other nations did not end well for one side. By lowering their guards and allowing other races who Africans encountered from the 13th to 19th centuries to take strategic advantage over them, leading to enslavement and colonialism, the black man has lost respect everywhere on earth, from one generation to another. In the last three to four years since Ghanaian Presidents accepted Chinese loans, even though full details have not been disclosed to their people, more than 50,000 Chinese have flooded to Ghana prospecting for gold, something considered illegal. Like happened with Europeans, one can surmise the possibility in half a century where Chinese take over the nation of Ghana, and all with the collusion of a few greedy blacks in power who have “sold their own kind” for self gain in business.
How do blacks maintain and gain respect when their leaders seem so greedy and selfish? Despite human rights laws, human barriers are placed in front of blacks in almost all professional and other opportunities in many nations, and the judicial system has not caught up as the Zimmerman case in Florida has shown in the latter half of July 2013. Unfortunately this happens even in the US where many civil rights laws have been passed, and Barack Obama, a black person (by definition), has been elected to the Presidency. Laws are administered by humans, and humans are not perfect, oftentimes leading to violent confrontation in human interactions.
It is not impossible to regain respect but African leaders will have to build their nations, infrastructure and environment to respectable global standards with the modern available science and knowledge, and to manufacture some of their own products and in the process create jobs for their own people. Small nations like Singapore and Korea have done it and mega nations like China are also doing it in the last few decades, catching up what took Western nations centuries to do. This was the vision of Kwame Nkrumah to do in a few decades what took Europe centuries to do.
The challenge, however, comes from the people themselves if they are willing to stand up and challenge their destinies and their elected leaders, instead of accepting a life of poverty and deprivation where their leaders extract their human and mineral resources for their self gain and to maintain their greed and selfish hold on power.
Kwaku A. Danso